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The Bala Lake Railway Trust has launched an urgent appeal to allow Natural Resources Wales to complete work vital for the extension of the railway into Bala.
This project by Natural Resources Wales is to upgrade the flood defences for the town of Bala, and these defences coincide with where the Bala Lake Railway want to run the extension of the railway.
Natural Resources Wales has incorporated the engineering work required for the railway extension as well as the Special Site of Scientific Interest, which is the most sensitive classification there is.
Credit: Bala Lake Railway
For the additional work, Natural Resources Wales have calculated that the cost will be £276,000 and to take advantage of this, the Bala Lake Railway needs to show that they have access to the funds by the end of February.
Initial donations have seen the money needed reduce from £276,000 to just £50,000.
The initial appeal started at the end of January, and over the past few weeks, £30,000 has been raised.
This urgent appeal ends in 7 days, and £20,000 is still needed.
George B at Llanuwchllyn on the Bala Lake Railway // Credit: Bala Lake Railway
Julian Birley, Chairman of the Bala Lake Railway Trust, told RailAdvent that if they miss this opportunity, it would “put the project back years. With the legislation and bureaucracy that would be involved the cost would be pushed into the millions”.
“For a third party to work on a structure so important as the flood defences in a SSSI it will be just fraught with problems.”
For nearly 50 years, the Bala Lake Railway has terminated outside the town with just a platform and no facilities. Julian says with the new station visitor numbers would increase by 80%, and eight new jobs created directly from the extension.
Diana at Bala
Julian finished by saying “It is absolutely crucial we do not miss this opportunity for Natural Resources Wales to do this work for us. Once done, it is done forever. Any donation, no matter how small or large, is most welcome.”
If you can donate any amount, please donate via the Bala Lake Railway website here.
Alternatively, purchase this limited edition RailAdvent print from just £10, and we will donate 100% of the sale to the appeal.
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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